Council Reports: October 15, 2008

October 15, 2008
Committee of the whole meeting: 9:05 a.m. – 1:16 p.m. and 1:47 p.m. – 4:46 p.m.
Public Meeting and Regular Evening Meeting: 7:00 – 7:51 p.m.
All Members of Council present.
Deputy Mayor George Lawrence arrived at 11:00 a.m. after attending a meeting at Simcoe County.

CONFIDENTIAL/CLOSED SESSION: 11:58 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.

GEORGIAN SANDS/LAFONTAINE WATER STRATEGIC PLAN: It is estimated that in about four years, nitrate levels in the Georgian Sands and Lafontaine wells will rise above allowable provincial standards.

Moreover, there may not be sufficient water for the long term needs of users of a number of water systems between the 16th and 19th Concessions. Asked to recommend options, R.J. Burnside & Associates Ltd. recommended that the Township complete a Schedule C Class Environmental Assessment. This would identify alternatives and evaluate each with respect to its environmental, natural, socio- and economic impacts. The report recommends that these possibilities be investigated:
1. Remove the nitrate through distillation, reverse osmosis and ion exchange, a relatively expensive process that produces leftover nitrates that need to be disposed of.

2. Blend the water with lower nitrate level water to reduce the levels below provincial health limits. Requires sufficient volumes of alternative water.

3. Find and eliminate the source (possibly fertilizers or septic bed discharges) of the nitrates. But this takes time and even more time is required for the solution to become effective.

4. Manage existing water system demand/and or provide additional water supply in the form of additional wells.

5. Link the water systems serving Georgian Sands, Lafontaine, Vanier Woods, Sandcastle, Tiny Cove and Georgian Highlands into a single system. Additional well capacity and/or water storage capacity may be required.
Completion of such a Class Environmental Assessment would take approximately 2 years to complete and the estimated cost is:

Class EA Process $170,000
Hydrogeological Desktop and Test Well Program $80,000
Test Pilot Program for Nitrate Removal $30,000
Total for Schedule C Class EA $280,000

This estimate would cover the cost of identifying potential well sites and drilling test wells to confirm conditions, but the cost of actually developing and testing new wells would be over and above this.

Councillors George Cornell and Nigel Lawrence questioned Henk Blom, Manager of Public Works, as to why the Charlebois Court well had been drilled. Nigel Warren also asked if any outside sources of government funding were available for this project. Henk Blom responded that Charlebois was a test well (current cost of $14,000). Well #14 is a high production well and they need a replacement source. He would investigate grant opportunities.
Nigel Warren asked why the well had been drilled before the proposed study has been authorized? He also suggested that septage spreading may be contributing to the nitrate levels.
Council received the report for 2009 budget deliberations.

TOWNSHIP FEE SCHEDULE: Anita Weatherell, Deputy Clerk, presented a Proposed Fee Schedule amending the current Schedule. When Councillor George Cornell asked if the rates were comparable to other municipalities and effective for cost recovery, he was told that this had been considered with the fee adjustments. The revised fee schedule was passed.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP TRAINING: Chief Administrative Officer, Doug Luker, proposed the retention of Horizon Management Services to provide a comprehensive and customized multi-year Management Training Program at the cost of $25,000 plus GST. Councillor Cornell and Deputy Mayor Lawrence both questioned why this had not been tendered, and pointed out that the Township’s Financial Procedural By-laws, which require that projects of this magnitude must be tendered, are not being followed. Luker’s response was that the tendering process would further delay the training and this vendor was providing good value. After much deliberation, the contract was approved.

GREEN BIN LINER BAGS: George Lawrence reported that the green bin program is successful. He noted, however, that if bags lining the green bin were not biodegradable, the bags wouldn’t be picked up.

NO PARKING ON TINY BEACHES ROAD SOUTH FROM TREW AVENUE TO NICOLE BOULEVARD: Public Works has been authorized to place “No Parking” signs on both sides of the road from Trew Avenue to 20 metres south of Nicole Boulevard.

PHRAGMITES/COMMON REED REPORT DELAYED: The Severn Sound Environmental Association did not submit its promised Report regarding their survey of patches of Common Reed on municipally owned land and their recommendations of what should be done to control the spread of this invasive species. The Report is expected at the November 10th meeting of Council.